Aires provides you with the capability to replace your control surfaces on the L-29 Delphin. The packaging is the standard polyethylene bag secured to a header card with staples. There are no supplied instructions but then again, the six parts are a direct replacement for the kit’s control surfaces.
Although most paints will adhere to resin alone, I would recommend that you wash the parts to remove any remaining mold release and prime them first. The parachute and parachute housing will need to be installed with your favorite CA (super glue) or epoxy, as the normal plastic glues or solvents will not react with the resin.
Aires has molded the control surfaces perfectly in light tan resin with no apparent bubbles. Be very careful removing the part from the resin block, it is incredibly easy to accidently break the flap rails and elevator counterbalances. The flap rails are especially sensitive as they are thin and sensitive to any side pressure you put on them during separation. I used a photo-etch saw to remove the control surfaces and then trimmed with a #11 scalpel blade. Total preparation time for the Aires control surfaces, not including painting, was under twenty minutes and that is taking care to cut off the pour block properly.
So what advantages do you get? Starting off with the elevator, if you look at the attached photographs, you get to avoid filling a rather large depression on the AMK elevator top, just to the port of center. The counterbalances seem to be a bit more refined, but make sure you check your walk around pics to make sure you agree, it’s going to be a close call. The Aires trailing edge is nice and thin as compared to the AMK kit supplied injected parts. A feature that can be found on some aircraft is that the riveting on the elevator are rather prominent, but that detail is missing on both the Aires and AMK parts. Check your resources, I don’t know if some elevator surfaces had flush riveting and some had the rivets that stand proud of the surface. Clearly, the stabilizer has flush rivets.
The AMK kit rudder is supplied in two parts as compared to the single piece provided by Aires. The trailing edges of the Aires rudder are again nice and thin as compared to the AMK kit parts. I could not get a picture to show it, but the Aires rudder fits better to the vertical stabilizer as well. A feature that can be found on some aircraft is that the riveting on the rudder are quite noticeable, but that detail is missing on both the Aires and AMK parts. Check your resources, I don’t know if some rudder surfaces had flush riveting and some had the rivets that stand proud of the surface. Clearly, the vertical fin has flush rivets.
The Aires flaps feature the indents on the on the sides of the flaps where the internal tubular structure forms a ‘dimple’. In some photographs, it appears that this dimple is actually the inside of the tubular structure and appears to have been covered with tape. The Aires parts again feature a better trailing edge than the AMK parts. Interestingly, the AMK parts come with tabs to set the flaps at a set distance in the wing and the Aires parts do not have this feature. I am not sure this is a plus or minus to either part. I presume the tabs on the AMK flaps are to make sure the flaps are extended just the right amount. If you have any concerns, you can always use the AMK kit parts as a guide. Both the AMK and Aires parts also are missing a guide pin about 25% from the trailing edge of the flaps.
Despite my comments on the rivets and the guide pin, the Aires product is superior to what is provided in the AMK kit. There are some 13 L-29 walkarounds linked on the www.cybermodeler.com website if you want to see more detail of the real thing. This product is highly recommended due to the ease of use, the superior appearance of the Aires parts, and added detail.
Thanks to Aires Hobby Models and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this set.
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035